The SC State University Foundation’s Board of Directors will host its 28th annual Scholarship Gala and Tribute on Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m. The black-tie event will take place in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center on SC State’s campus. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
Entertainment for the evening will include musical performances by Charlton Singleton and Friends of Charleston, South Carolina.
The Scholarship Gala and Tribute is the signature fundraiser for the foundation, and its proceeds are allocated to student scholarships. The event, which features an awards ceremony, is also an annual opportunity to honor students who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating a commitment to service, integrity and excellence.
Every year, four students are awarded the Shining Star distinction and an academic scholarship during the event. Students are also recognized for their high grade-point average in their academic college. Each holding a 3.5 grade-point average or higher, the 2019 Shining Stars are Sadé Sprinkle, Tyhesia Hardin, Erin Jones and Elijah Medina-Bandy.
Sadé Sprinkle, a senior speech-language pathology major from Cope, South Carolina, is a member of various organizations. She is a member of the National Student Leadership Society, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Speech Hearing and Language Association, where she serves as vice president. She also serves as president of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
A blooming entrepreneur, she produces natural skincare and hair care products through her business, Sprinkled by Nature. Additionally, she owns a holistic care business called Safiya Lotus. Sprinkle is eager to gain work experience in speech-language pathology and represent SC State with pride. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school. She lives by the phrase, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Tyhesia Hardin is a senior early childhood education major from Chester, South Carolina who transferred from York Technical College, where she earned an associate degree in early child care and education.
At SC State, Hardin serves as a member of Social Graces, Men Against Cancer and the Alpha Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She is the recording secretary and chaplain of her chapter. She is also a member of Mt. Prospect Baptist Church, where she is the Youth Choir director, a member of the Hymn and Gospel choirs, Kitchen Committee and the Missionary Team.
She said her main goal is to empower the youth in her community. She believes that children not only need someone they can relate to, but someone who will guide them in the right direction. Her favorite scripture is Proverbs 22:6, which states, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Hardin upholds that education is not simply given, but hard work and dedication is required to attain it. After completing her undergraduate career, she plans to teach in Chester county and earn a Master of Arts in teaching from the University of South Carolina.
Erin Jones is a junior accounting major from Columbia, South Carolina. She serves as a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Golden Key International Honour Society and Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Organization.
She became a mother at 15-years-old, making her a testament of what it means to strive for and obtain academic success despite the odds. She is fascinated with learning new things and enthusiastically looks forward to putting her knowledge to good use.
An aspiring lifetime learner, Jones firmly believes that a collaborative and cohesive academic framework is essential for students to excel academically and personally. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in accounting and become a certified public accountant.
Elijah Medina-Bandy, named a Shining Star for the second consecutive year, is a junior chemistry, pre-health major from Atlanta, Georgia who ranks at the top of his class.
As a freshman, he joined the Louise Stokes South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-SCAMP) Program for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors. Additionally, Medina-Bandy serves as a member of IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE). During an eight-week summer internship at SC State in 2017, he conducted cancer research in a laboratory, where he gained valuable experience.
After graduation, he plans to take the Medical College Admission Test. He is interested in attending Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and his ultimate goal is to become an orthopedic surgeon and to continue doing cancer research.
For more information about the Scholarship Gala and Tribute, contact the SC State Foundation administrative coordinator, Angelia Jackson, at (803) 536-7190 or [email protected]